Three voluntary groups from Thurrock, who work in our community, have been honoured with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Services (QAVS) – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
The three groups are:
- One Community Development Trust, Tilbury
- Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders
- Thurrock Mind
The QAVS is given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service within their communities. Recipients of the award are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Cllr Deborah Huelin, portfolio holder for communities, said: "These Thurrock organisations are just three of 250 volunteer-led groups to receive this prestigious award this year across the UK and we are incredibly proud.
One Community Development Trust, Thurrock Mind and the Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders will receive the award from Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, later this summer."
One Community Development Trust, Tilbury
Samantha Day, a trustee for One Community Development Trust, said: "As a trustee, volunteer and beneficiary who is born and bred in Tilbury, we are thrilled to be acknowledged to receive the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Services. This gives us recognition and credibility, which will increase our profile and reputation to work in partnership with corporate businesses on our doorstep, as well as other charitable trusts and Foundations.
"We would like to thank and appreciate all our volunteers for their passion and dedication over the years in supporting the community to become a place to be proud to live and work."
Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders Group
Susan Wilsdon, Group Co-ordinator for the Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders Group, said: "The Stanford, Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responder group is extremely proud to have been awarded 'The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service'. This prestigious honour is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK, and represents recognition of the hard work, support and hours of dedication the group have given to their community in helping save lives.
"As Community First Responders we are volunteers who are trained by the East of England Ambulance Service to attend certain types of emergency calls in the area where they live or work. Their aim is to reach a potential life threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrives. Our role is to help stabilise the patient and provide the appropriate care until the more highly skilled ambulance crew arrives on scene to take over the treatment.
"During the last year the group provided 3,233 voluntary hours and attended 560 emergency calls. In addition to these hours, the group has also dedicated many voluntary hours teaching Lifesaving skills to the community on behalf of the Ambulance Service and The British Heart Foundation. Hopefully, receiving this award will inspire other members of our community to become Community First Responders or get involved in voluntary work."
David Noble, Chairman of Thurrock Mind, said: "The staff and volunteers of Thurrock Mind are extremely proud and honoured to have been awarded this prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services in recognition for their work over many years.
"Every year we support over 5,000 people with mental health problems in the local area and our volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. Our reputation within Thurrock is highly valued and regarded, and we are so thrilled with this award which recognises our hard work in the community.
"As a local charity we rely upon our ability to provide the best possible services for local people with, or likely to develop, mental health problems. The commitment and determination shown by our volunteers enables us to reach and support more people experiencing mental health challenges to improve their quality of life."
Photo: One Community Development Trust (Tilbury); Thurrock Mind; Jennifer Tolhurst; Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Simon Hall MBE; Stanford Corringham and Tilbury Community First Responders